Patient's "right" to abuse nurses...I need your opinion - page 2

Hi, everyone. I'm a year out from graduation and have been working my job so I haven't posted or been on in a while, but a topic came up on the job and it just rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't want... Read More

  1. by   JBudd
    Quote from luvmyc
    Absolutely not. I'll tell patients that they have right to talk to me that way/treat me that way. Life is too short to be verbally abused at work.
    I think you left out "NO right" LOL
  2. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Quote from MsNewbee
    I hope that she was! She works the opposite shift of me so I've never worked with her directly before. The patient's behavior was so consistent. The nurses on the night shift would comment how awful this patient was until I started working with her and then suddenly she could sleep at night. I thought it was because she expended so much energy hollering at me all day.

    That's why I didn't say anything to any supervisors or bring it up because it could have been a joke, but I was curious to see how the patient's underlying behavior for the comment should have been addressed and how I can keep going on if I'm smiling through tears stinging my eyes.

    During a meeting we were informed that reimbursements were based on patient satisfaction and now we wouldn't get paid if patient's weren't happy and then this lady showed up and they assigned her to me. She was there 8 days and I had her for 5. I thought the whole situation was a cruel joke.
    It could be that your personality and punctual response made her happy. These manipulative beings have a huge insecurity that their needs won't be met. That is fair, as I have worked with numerous veteran nurses who make pts. wait extended times under the "busy" guise. I am assuming a lot, but I suspect she is a FF to hospitals. Limit setting is a huge part of management of these patients and calling your charge or manager in to discuss this will go far. It is frustrating and demoralizing, but you were exactly what she needed. I explain to patients that I round hourly, maybe not on the minute but between 50 and 70 minutes with few exceptions. I will take care of your needs then and please call for emergencies.
  3. by   Cat365
    I must be lucky. Neither of the hospitals I've worked for would tolerate that behavior. First if you wish to go outside you can sign yourself out AMA. Otherwise you stay in the hospital. If you choose to smoke in your room we claim your cigarettes and lighter. If you do not wish to do this you can leave AMA. Challenging patients are rotated. No one gets them for 4-5 shifts in a row. No charge I've worked with would do that.
  4. by   workinmomRN2012
    3 answers...NO she does not have the RIGHT to abuse staff!, NO she shouldnt be going ourside to smoke (we immediatly start patients on a patch for those who smoke) and last but not least...ROTATE the patient to other RN's, share the misery, lol
  5. by   Apple-Core
    Nobody has the RIGHT to abuse anybody. If your manager really did mean that (it could have been a case of super-dry "humor"), then that is taking the whole PC thing too far.
  6. by   Julius Seizure
    There are Rx tobacco inhalers?
  7. by   NurseSpeedy
    This is the type of patient that will typically get passed around to a different staff member each day/shift like a ping-pong ball. No one has to take the patient more than one day at a time if they don't want to and just about everybody gets their turn to share the love. Hopefully they are discharged within this time frame. If not, the cycle repeats until they have been released. The super fun patient is well shared on the least where I work now.

    Years ago I worked for a facility with a frequent flyer that was dropped off at our ER every few weeks and would stay with us for at least a month at a time. The patient would be perfectly fine but if mom said he had x diagnosis then that's what he got admitted with. The MD went along with it. Anyway, the patient would always talk nasty (sexual content) to a female staff member if she were in the room and would try to grab inappropriately any chance he got. He was a total care patient with tubes and everything so we were in the room a lot. For some reason I seemed to always get assigned to this patient and I worked 5 days a weeks so I would sometimes have him several days in a row, get one day off, and get him back when I returned for another several days! To make it worse, I was only a few years younger than him and the rest of my unit (we were very small) were old enough to be his mom so I got it pretty bad. I would go home and immediately take a hot shower. This was also the patient that would have a discharge order but the caregiver (mom) would go MIA or would be on her way but something always came up for about another couple of weeks. I don't know of any hospital that would put up with that kind of crap today but way back when I first started nursing, this was the case where I worked. I solved this problem by going FLEX pool and agency. I chose when I wanted to work and where, and if I knew that special someone was in for their resort stay and I had had all I could take, I booked somewhere else until I thought it was safe to return. This is one of the great things about being pool or agency, the chance of getting the same crazy assignment 2 days in a row is very slim.
  8. by   LovingLife123
    After a couple of days of her, I would have told charge I would not take her as a patient anymore. She does not have the right to abuse you. At all.

    I've given a couple of difficult patients some tough love before. Some of them need it. You can be firm, but in a caring manner. If she still is acting crazy, I will be firm, but not caring.

    Let them give me a bad survey score. I don't care. The good ones make up for the couple of bad apples. But I will not tolerate someone treating me like their servent or disturbing the unit.
  9. by   mushyrn
    No. No. She has zero rights to abuse you. The person who was hit by her should be filing charges against her with the police. And you should never take a patient downstairs to smoke, leaving your other patients on the floor covered by other nurses. The ONLY reason I go with a patient off my unit is because they are a critical care patient going to CT/Xray/MRI/etc... not to smoke or see the Christmas tree downstairs. Nope. Not happening. AMA.

    Never let a patient or family member or coworker or ANYONE abuse you as a nurse. You have to stick up for yourself. Please always do this. I would give her the pain medication if ordered, close her door, and let that call light ring for an hour before answering it again.

    Bye Felicia.
  10. by   jaderook01
    That AMA paper would have been printed off and presented to her. Also, I would have fired her. However, I would have also called the doctor, explained her outrageous behavior and gotten her discharge underway.
  11. by   nursej22
    Quote from Julius Seizure
    There are Rx tobacco inhalers?
    Yup, the brand we used was Nicotrol. They look faintly like a cigarette and they have a nicotine ampule that is inserted, and crushed upon activation. You only get a puff or two per ampule, but the patient gets the oral stimulation of drawing in, and demented patients seem to like holding them.
  12. by   Kooky Korky
    She has no right to abuse anyone. Learn young that no patient, doctor, family members, other staff have the right abuse you.

    The tech whom she hit needs to make a police report. We are not punching bags. No one has the right to assault and batter us.

    Have you been able to involve a chaplain, art therapist, activities therapist?

    Keep after the medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, etc. until they get on top of this mess. PRN's maybe to
    calm her down, get her to sleep for a while?

    Institute a points system whereby she can earn points for good behavior and can trade them for a smoke or other thing she
    wants. This can help rein her in. Violations cause a loss of points.

    The woman is ill and needs treatment but she does not have the right to abuse anyone. And her doctors and therapists are not
    allowed to ignore her. But since you are on the front line, it's up to you to keep reporting the patient's behaviors to these other

    As for your supervisor, I'd ask what she meant. Give her a chance to save face but also let her know how demoralized you feel
    and that her remark didn't help and was shocking.

    Meantime, cut down your extra shifts and regroup.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with this mess.
  13. by   Wheels28
    Just a patient- No a patient has no right to abuse you. Your job is hard enough you don't need abuse added to it. I'm disabled due to cerebral palsy and use a wheelchair and have been in the hospital many times. I never "ordered" around or abused staff. I knew at a young age if I wanted people to help me when I needed it, I had to be respectful, and have patience, by doing so I never had a shortage of help when I needed it. (Go figure) It's a shame others don't feel/think the same way.

    To be honest I think it was very nice of you to spend extra time with her after treating you like that. I don't think I could have done that. Always remember you have patients who respect and appreciate the work you do for them.